Coconut (Cocos nucifera) is one of the remarkable natural medicine. Ayurveda uses several parts of Coconut in many of its formulations to treat a wide range of diseases.
Ayurveda uses Coconut as an aphrodisiac, rejuvenating tonic, coolant, diuretic, wound healer, antimicrobial, skin, and hair tonic. It is beneficial in malnutrition, urinary problems, skin diseases, hyperacidity, stomach disorders, hair, and dental issues.
The use of Coconut as medicine is not much recognized. Let’s know more about the interesting medicinal qualities of this popular nut in Ayurveda.
Coconut – All you need to know
Coconut commonly grows near the river bank. Hence, the Sanskrit name ‘Narikela.’ Owing to its immense benefits, Coconut is also known as ‘Kalpa vriksha.’ This means the ‘tree fulfilling all the needs of life.’
Coconut is a tall palm tree which grows up to 80 feet in height. The trunk is straight and marked with ring-like leaf scars. Coconut leaves are 2-5 meters long with equidistant and lanceolate leaflets.
Coconut flowers are small and produced in large numbers. They are of greenish-yellow color. Fruit of Coconut bears single seed with a fibrous waxy coating on the outside. Coconut seed is endospermic, i.e., it contains clear nutritious liquid, which we know as coconut water. This liquid later matures into a sweet, white fleshy layer.
Coconut fruit, flower, root, and oil are the main parts of trees used in preparations of Ayurvedic formulations.
Properties of Coconut
Coconut fruit is sweet. It is unctuous, heavy to digest, and shows cooling effect. These herbal energies of Coconut make it useful to pacify vata and pitta dosha.
What are the benefits of Coconut?
Besides providing essential nutrients, Coconut has immense health benefits. Hence, it is considered a functional food. Ayurvedic classical texts state its several medicinal benefits such as –
Storehouse of nourishment
Coconut is a rich source of protein, energy, fats, and phosphorus, which are pre-requisite for bodybuilding. Moreover, it is sweet and unctuous, which replenishes body tissues with essential nutrients and promotes weight gain. If you feel weak and want to put on some weight, then you should go for a daily dose of coconut.
Best friend of kidneys
Coconut is extensively used in Ayurveda to treat urinary disorders. Its electrolyte effect purifies the urinary system and promotes the effective functioning of kidneys. Moreover, it shows a diuretic effect, which is very helpful in curing urination problems.
Alleviates burning sensation
If you suffer from burning sensation in body parts, hyperacidity, any burn injury, high fever, swelling, or ulcer then Coconut is a good option for you. As Coconut is cooling and alleviates pitta levels, it’s consumption in any form relieves pain and burning sensation.
Promotes hair growth
Coconut is abundant in essential amino acids, which is beneficial for healthy hair. Further, it has a unique property of promoting hair growth. Coconut oil cures different types of hair problems. Also, including coconut and coconut oil in your diet ensures healthy hair.
Keeps you hydrated
Coconut water and its white flesh are both abundant in water content along with minerals like potassium, sodium, magnesium, and sugars like fructose, sucrose, and glucose. This keeps your cells hydrated and refreshes you instantly.
Protects your heart
Coconut is endowed with medium-chain saturated fatty acids. They get rapidly metabolized and do not participate in the synthesis of cholesterol. Thus, Coconut prevents you from cardiovascular risks.
How to use Coconut?
In Asian countries, Coconut has been an essential part of the diet. Especially, coconut water is one of the favorite beverages all over the globe. But in Ayurveda, Coconut is used as a medicine in different forms like decoction, paste, jelly, oil, ghee, powder, herbal pills, fermented syrup & herbo-mineral formulation.
- If your kid has intestinal worms, then give coconut water mixed with asafoetida powder. This will eliminate the worms as well as improve metabolism
- Taking the powder of coconut flowers with curd can make you free from the problem of crystals in urine within a few days
- Coconut water alone or added with sugar gives relief from migraine and headache.
- You can get a freckle-free face just by applying coconut milk mixed with black cumin powder
- Massaging coconut oil mixed with lime juice on your scalp frees you from dandruff and promotes hair growth
- If you suffer from hyperacidity, then mix parched gram flour with equal sugar and take with coconut water. It also alleviates the problem of excessive thirst, heart palpitations, burning sensation, dehydration, fainting, etc.
- If you suffer from acne, then make a paste of coconut shell powder in water. Apply this daily on your face. This also cures rashes and itching in other skin disorders
What is the recommended dose of Coconut?
You can add 50-100 grams of Coconut as a part of your daily diet. 10-20 drops of coconut oil are sufficient for oral consumption. Alkali preparation of Coconut called Narikela kshara should be taken in a dose of 1-2 grams per day.
Coconut water is a nourishing and rehydrating drink. Hence, it can be taken anytime especially during summers.
Generally, people with low urine output and renal failure should avoid taking Coconut and tender coconut water. As they have high potassium content, they can result in an electrolyte imbalance.
Coconut is a wonderful nature’s gift to humankind. Along with nutrition, it is also endowed with miraculous healing powers. This coolant works wonder in urinary problems, weakness, cardiovascular disorders, stomach problems, skin diseases, as well as hair problems. Using Coconut in any way is an easy, inexpensive, and natural way to stay healthy.